UK Gambling Commission implements security measures for online slots

With the increase in online gambling options, the need for measures to ensure a safer experience has increased. To this end, the UK Gambling Commission has announced a package of changes that are supposed to strengthen protections, as well as control, of online slot games.

The measures include the introduction of limits on the speed of rotation and a permanent ban on features that increase the speed of the game or “Celebrate losses as well as victories”.

Operators had to go through a period of consultation with the public and players, with the gaming industry and other shakeholders. Then they will have to implement new player protection measures, which must be strengthened to ensure safety.

The aim is to make online casino games less intensive and safer by design and as a result, players will have more control over their game.

Online slot machines were the main focus of the Commission because their characteristics often increase the intensity of the game and therefore the risk for players. Slot machine games also hide the highest risk for losses among all gambling products.

The rules

The new rules include the to forbid of four key features of online slots. The function that speeds up the game, thus giving the illusion control over the results, the speed of rotation of slot machines, automatic play, which has been found to lead to lose track of the game of players, sounds and images that can also create illusions.

It is proven that the inverse shrinkage functions lead to greatest temptation to keep players playing. On the other hand, the removal of functionality is associated with an increase in the intensity of the game, among other things.

As part of the new changes, operators must display in a clearer way to the players their losses or their gains, as well as the time which they played during a session.

The Commission has also introduced a permanent ban on reverse withdrawals for all online gambling.

The new protection measures must be implemented by all operators in October 31, 2021.

According to Neil McArthur, CEO of the Gambling Commission, banning certain features is necessary for them to be present a risk for the customers.

He added: “This is another important step in making gambling safer and where the evidence shows there are other opportunities to do so that we are determined to seize.”

Meanwhile, Sports, Tourism and Heritage Minister Nigel Huddleston said: “Today’s measures will help reduce the intensity of online gambling, by introducing better protections that will reduce the risk of harm from gambling.”

He added:“I welcome the strict measures of the Gambling Commission as we continue our comprehensive review of gambling laws to ensure they are fit for the digital age.”

The new rules are part of a wider player protection campaign led by the Commission. As many physical casinos remain closed, players opt for an online gaming experience. The goal is to make the game fairer and safer while introducing stronger protections around the age of players and their identity checks.

Other changes include improved customer interaction practices and credit card games.

The Commission also launched a consultation on interaction with customers last year, the results of which are expected later this year.

Source: “Gambling Commission announces set of changes that make online gaming safer by design”, Gambling Commission, February 2, 2021

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